Who will be Syracuse’s next basketball assistant? Jim Boeheim lists criteria – Syracuse.com

Syracuse, N.Y. — Jim Boeheim will not interview candidates for his vacated assistant coaching position. He tried that once, he said, and realized after three interviews, he liked all three possibilities.

Instead, he will simply make a decision on who to hire to replace Mike Hopkins. Or more precisely, to hire a third assistant coach who likely will be charged with coaching SU’s big men.

Boeheim might make that call tomorrow, he said. 

Maybe by the end of the week. Maybe in two weeks.

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It might be a guy with ties to Syracuse, like current assistants Adrian Autry and Gerry McNamara. Or it might be somebody from someplace altogether different, like Rob Murphy and Troy Weaver.

“We hire the best guy,” Boeheim said. “If he happens to be a Syracuse guy, that’s great. But it doesn’t have to be. We get the best we can get for this position.”

Several candidates have emerged as possibilities. Boeheim said nobody has lobbied him for the job, though prospective assistants have made their interest known to the program or will communicate their desire to join the staff.

Boeheim said SU’s decision to elevate Autry to an associate head coach position and to retain McNamara gives the staff “two guys who have already proven they can recruit, that have already signed recruits.” 

Boeheim seemed to suggest on Monday that the ability to recruit might be secondary to the ability to coach, to being “emotional,” to “being a good teacher.”

2015-10-02-dn-subasketball1.JPGFirst day of practice for the Syracuse Orange basketball team at the Carmelo K. Anthony Center.Assistant coaches Gerry McNamara and Adrian Autry. Oct. 2, 2015. Dennis Nett | dnett@syracuse.com  

He expects to leave McNamara in charge of SU’s guards. He said McNamara brings “a unique perspective that makes him a great coach there.”  Autry, he said, will likely continue to coach the forwards.  The departure of Hopkins means, among other things, that SU loses the coach responsible for the centers.

Boeheim said the coach he hires doesn’t necessarily need to be a former big man. He just needs to be able to motivate and teach the position.

“I think ideally we would like to get somebody who could work with big guys,” Boeheim said. “We have a great recruiter. We probably don’t need a great recruiter. But we’ll try to find somebody who can recruit. But we could find somebody who’s just good with big men, too.

“Everything’s out there,” he added. “In my experience, if you’re a good person and you’re good with people, you can recruit. Gerry had no experience and he’s a very good recruiter.”

Boeheim said assistant coaches are important, but that high school players choose the program rather than the coach.

“Kids are going to come to Syracuse,” Boeheim said. “But you have to do the work. And we have two guys who have proven already that they can do the work. And we will hire somebody who has proven that he can do the work.”

That said, the likely candidates Boeheim will consider include:

Allen Griffin: The former Syracuse guard is a good friend of Autry and has obvious ties to the program. He’s an assistant coach at Dayton under Archie Miller, who has built a stable and successful program and is often mentioned as a candidate for high-profile Power 5 jobs. But Syracuse is home for Griffin.  He would consider coming back as an Orange assistant.

2015-01-30-gw-practice0014.JPGSyracuse University basketball’s director of operations Kip Wellman, left, with Fort Drum soldier SPC Patrick Stone visiting during basketball team practice. Friday Jan. 30, 2015. Gary Walts | gwalts@syracuse.com  

Kip Wellman:  Wellman, a former assistant coach at Western Kentucky, came back to SU to work as the director of basketball operations in 2013.  Wellman was also a grad assistant with the men’s basketball program when he was an SU student.  It’s relatively common for the DOBO to slide over from that job to an assistant coaching position.

Rob McClanaghan: McClanaghan is a former SU walk-on who has built a reputation as a trainer to NBA superstars as varied as Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose. He also counts Dion Waiters among his clients.  He has ties to the SU program and has worked out various former SU players as they prepared for the NBA Draft.

Eric Devendorf: The former SU guard is currently working as an Orange assistant strength and conditioning coach. He, too, has obvious ties to the program and the ability to motivate players.  

Ryan Blackwell: Blackwell is the current coach at Liverpool High School, where he has built a contender. A former SU forward, he could make the jump from successful high school coach to become a member of a college staff. Blackwell, too, has coaching experience in Japan.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s an educated start.

Who will be Syracuse’s next basketball assistant? Jim Boeheim lists criteria – Syracuse.com

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